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Easy integration of remote suppliers and consumers in the distribution network

Overview

Supply of street lighting  

Monitoring of the luminaire state of street lighting

  • The feed-in of renewable forms of energy and the growing use of electric cars require the power grid to be monitored precisely.
  • Enexis uses small-scale controllers from Phoenix Contact as well as a software and database solution for processing, storing, and evaluating the relevant data and presenting it in a meaningful way.
  • The visualization of the current load situation for the local network enables reliable supply to all consumers.

Customer profile

Transformer in the local network station  

Transformer in the local network station

Enexis operates the power grid in seven provinces in the Netherlands. There the company is responsible for connections to around 2.7 million consumers.

In addition, employees continuously work on improving the network and making it more intelligent, more efficient, and future-oriented.

Application

ILC 131 ETH small-scale controller in the local network station  

Control box with the ILC 131 ETH small-scale controller and a modem

The feed-in of solar power from private households as well as the growing proportion of electric cars in the Netherlands requires precise monitoring of the power grid so that voltage fluctuations are avoided.

The consistent monitoring and visualization solution used by Enexis therefore monitors the current values for voltage, current, and energy flow. This enables better planning and targeted expansion of the local network, plus short circuits can be detected and localized more quickly.

The transformer in the low-voltage network, which encompasses the 10 kV level to the 400 V level, is also monitored. In addition to supplying households and businesses in the vicinity, it also supplies the street lighting.

In the past, the street lighting could be switched on and off remotely, however it was not possible to monitor the state of the luminaires. By evaluating the current consumption, Enexis is now able to draw conclusions regarding the quality of the luminaires and promptly sends out a service technician in the event of deterioration.

Solution

Visualization of the local network  

Diagnostics and visualization of the local network in map view

The current data for the three secondary circuit phases of the transformer in the local network station is acquired by current transformers and recorded by an ILC 131 ETH small-scale controller. Since large servers are required to analyze the values from all the acquisition systems, the data is stored by a Canadian database provider. An SQL database is used, to which the ILC 131 ETH controller writes directly. To do this, the programmer uses function blocks from the SQL Library, which can be downloaded from the Phoenix Contact homepage.

Based on the data records obtained, the state of the street lighting can be assessed. Furthermore, the capacity utilization of the transformer can be determined. If it exceeds defined limit values, the service technician takes appropriate action or this prompts the network to be extended. On the other hand, if a load is lower than average, a lower-cost smaller transformer can be used.

Enexis is planning to extend the application with environmental sensing technology so that it will soon be possible to adaptively control the illuminance of the street lighting. At present the street lighting is controlled based on the sunrise and sunset times provided by the Canadian database. However, it would be preferable to make the switch-on and switch-off times dependent on the natural illuminance level present locally. This means that the lights can come on much earlier on cloudy days and later on sunny days.

The Gaia software developed by Enexis provides the ideal solution for coherently presenting a large volume of data. Based on the information supplied by Google Earth, the user can zoom into the individual streets with the tool and view current and historical trends for energy flow and the network load. For example, consumers that require a larger supply line are identified.

Summary

The efficiency of plants and systems can be increased significantly by acquiring and analyzing the relevant data. This is where the “big data” approach provides added value. Algorithms, databases, and networking are all hallmarks of the control and automation systems of the future.

The intelligent connection of the field level to higher-level data backup and processing, plus meaningful visualization of the findings provide the foundation for this. Enexis can therefore respond to critical events or overloads quickly and in accordance with requirements, thereby ensuring that inhabitants are continuously supplied with electricity.

PHOENIX CONTACT Ltd

8240 Parkhill Drive
Milton, Ontario L9T 5V7
1-800-890-2820

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